Jean-Pierre Lauzier, consultation expert, sales consultant and author of the book “Le coeur aux ventes”, regularly gives his personal and commercial development advice on Isarta Infos. Today, he explains how to choose quickly whether a business opportunity is worth digging or not.
To be successful in sales, it is essential to work as efficiently as possible: you need to work on projects that have a high probability of becoming a reality, which will generate a high success rate. The more effectively you work, the higher your success rate will be and the higher your revenues will increase.
When you meet a potential new client or are invited to bid on a project, do you have a qualification process that allows you to increase your success rate so that you and your client do not waste time?
Quickly qualify or disqualify opportunities
Since the majority of sellers are optimistic in nature and do not have tons of potential clients or projects, they like to believe in the potential of the client or project even if the probabilities of success are very low.
I often meet vendors who are working on projects that are lost in advance; it would be better for them to invest in another project rather than work on a project that has no chance of succeeding.
When you meet a new client or have detected an opportunity that looks good, apply a sales structure that helps you qualify or disqualify opportunities quickly. Whether the first contact is over the phone or in person, the process is the same
Your qualification process must include the following elements to properly identify your prospect or project, quickly:
1- Identify their needs and concerns
With a few key questions, you need to know their basic needs (not the need they say and that has already been diagnosed) and their dominant concerns regarding the purchases to be made and the general problems of the company.
It helps you to see how you will bring them value; then you will adapt your case by linking it to these needs and concerns.
If your solution cannot help, your sales cycle ends here. If this prospect is not looking for what you can bring them, there is no point in continuing and forcing the sale.
2- Identify their role in the organization’s decision-making process
Knowing your contact’s hierarchical role in the company allows you to know their level of decision-making authority regarding the purchases to be made. You will be able to better position your case based on this role. Are they the ultimate decision-maker, influencer or information collector, etc.?
3- Know current practices and results
Understand in depth how the client currently operates, the strengths and weaknesses of their operations, etc. Knowing how the client operates lets you know if your solution is worth the cost. Compare the benefits you think they will get with your solution versus the consequences of doing nothing.
4- Know the level of priority they assign to their project
Does the prospect shop in general or are they looking for a quick and precise solution? Do they have a deadline to complete their purchase? What level of priority does this purchase represent in the company’s decisions?
5- Find the client’s budget
If you ask the client directly for their budget, they will rarely tell you an amount, but before going further in your sales cycle, you need to know if the price of your solution is within their budget or close to their budget or if it is possible for the person to increase their budget (if it is less than your potential solution).
You have to use different approaches to know their budget. Here is an example: “Mr. Client, for this type of solution, the price usually varies between this amount and this amount, is your budget in this price range?”
After this qualification, you must make a decision on whether to proceed with the client and you must communicate the reasons to them. This qualification step must have allowed you to increase the client’s confidence level. The background to your questions should always be to get to know them better so you understand if you can help them or not, because the more you help the client succeed, the greater your chances of success.